~TV Executives during Christmas film re-runs season
Christmas is a time of family and nostalgia. Well, liquor as well. And definitely presents. Okay, so Christmas is a time of liquor and presents. Still, nostalgia and family play an important part, and every family tends to have their own Christmas movie that they watch each year to get them in the holiday spirit.
Sure, you occasionally might see some terrifyingly misguided attempts to be “hip” to cash in on the holiday season, but no matter how many shitty country music stars you put in front of a live audience, the classic films we grew up with are what really give us our holiday cheer each and every year.
With Christmas right around the corner (AGHH! ONE WEEK YOU GUYS!), we decided to count down the greatest Christmas films to ever come out of this fair country. But, since everyone uses the holiday season as a flimsy excuse to drive their page views by coming up with a gimmicky top-ten Christmas film list, we decided we’d get to the true heart of the holiday season—getting drunk.
After all, drinking games bring American families together even better than classic holiday films, so why not combine these two wonderful traditions to help bring each and every family drunkenly closer together? With that yuletide spirit in mind, make sure to put some extra bourbon in your already-spiked eggnog, and join us as we regale you with…
The 10 Greatest Christmas Movies Of All Time Drinking Game
If you ever tried googling “Non-American Christmas films” the first result you’d find is Santa punching you through your monitor for being so insolent. Christmas might be celebrated all around the world, but no one celebrates it better than America. We deck the halls, we fa la la la la, and we trample people to death at Wal-Mart to get flatscreen TVs on special.
So it goes without mentioning that the only great Christmas movies worth come from the U. S. of A. These are films that warm our hearts, teach us lessons, bring us closer together, and serve as the perfect foil for drinking games. So this holiday season, we present for you the definitive list of the ten greatest Christmas movies of all time, and how you can get dangerously drunk while watching them.
HONORABLE MENTION: HOW THE GRINCH STOLE CHRISTMAS (1966)
Okay, so we could have gone with the Jim Carrey live-action film, but that was pretty obnoxious. The 1960’s made-for-TV special, which pretty much takes animation straight from the Dr. Seuss book and adds a few songs sung by Thurl Ravenscroft (our Christmas gift for you is this little factoid—the guy who sang “You’re a Mean One, Mr. Grinch” was also the voice of Tony the fucking Tiger. You’re welcome, America) because having a deep-voiced narrator read through a children’s book isn’t enough to fill up an entire half-hour television slot. This special is a testament to the Christmas spirit, especially the part where he steals all those presents from those goddamn singing hippies.
Drinking Game Rules
Take a drink whenever something is rhymed with “Who.”
If you hear a clearly made-up word, take a shot of a combination of two liquors you have never mixed together before.
Whenever the Grinch’s face twists into a hideous deformed version of a smile, grimace, or frown, take a drink.
Drink each time a song starts, and keep drinking for the duration of the song.
Everyone has to take a shot once they get drunk enough that they stop feeling sorry for Max the dog.
10: National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation (1989)
National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation is the third installment of the Vacation series, though you probably assumed it was the second because European Vacation was what critics politely referred to as “a piece of garbage.” It was written by John Hughes, so you know it’s going to involve 1980’s music and the Chicago suburbs. It also features Chevy Chase, so it’s safe to assuming the majority of his jokes are going to be delivered in the form of “falling down.”
This film is watched every year in the Dennis Quaid household to serve as a reminder of how far his brother has fallen. It’s a film that brings together all of the greatest American traditions of the holiday season—stealing Christmas trees, putting so many Christmas lights up that you cause a power outage, and kidnapping your boss to demand a bonus so you can afford to put in a swimming pool in your home.
Drinking Game Rules
Every time Chevy Chase performs an act of physical comedy, take a drink while hopping up and down on one leg.
Drink whenever Randy Quaid does something crazy (drink twice if it coincides with Randy Quaid being in the news for doing something crazy).
Take a drink while rolling your eyes every time Chevy Chase’s bonus is mentioned.
Everyone takes a shot the first time someone mentions how Chevy Chase is a total dick in real life.
9: THE SANTA CLAUSE (1994)
The 1990’s belong to Tim Allen. He could do no wrong. He had a hit sitcom where all he was expected to do was grunt in a unique fashion, he starred in several hugely popular films, including the Toy Story series, and he somehow managed to become the default family-friendly comedic name, despite being a convicted felon who had gone to jail for trafficking cocaine. Hell, he even ratted on his fellow dealers to get a shorter prison sentence and managed to not get shanked even once while in prison.
Then he made The Santa Clause, which is easily one of the top five most lighthearted movies that begins with the main character straight up murdering Santa and being forced into indentured servitude for eternity as a result. In the process, he repairs his relationship with one of the most annoying child characters in the history of Christmas films, and Judge Reinhold gets a Weenie Whistle. It spawned several sequels which we shall never mention again, and made over $189 million worldwide, which was probably used to buy Tim Allen just a whole mess of coke.
Drinking Game Rules
Take a drink each time a Christmas item is used for its unintended purpose (like tinsel being used to break a man out of prison).
Do a carbomb every time Judge Reinhold shows up in an ugly sweater. Because, admit it, you love it every time you see Judge Reinhold in an ugly sweater. And you love carbombs.
Drink while jiggling your belly whenever there’s a sight gag involving Tim Allen being in a fat suit.
Take a shot every time you want to punch Charlie Calvin right in the goddamn face.
After half an hour, direct the ambulance to take you to the nearest hospital to get your stomach pumped.
8: MIRACLE ON 34TH STREET (1947)
A classic tale of trusting strangers and letting them into your home with little-to-no question, Miracle on 34th Street teaches us to believe in the omnipotent, terrifying demi-God that is Santa Claus while setting a legal precedent which states that whenever you receive a letter addressed to a different person, you legally assume that identity. It also featured a young Natalie Wood, who would go on to be known for such roles as Maria in West Side Story, and Robert Wagner Drowning Victim #1 in the unreleased documentary film Never go boating with Robert Wagner and Christopher Walken.
Like many classic films made before studio execs fully understood the concept of “setting up sequels to maximize cash flow,” Miracle was remade in 1994 to a resounding “Meh, the original holds up well enough that this remake is completely unnecessary”, but no one cares about that. All we know is that the Natalie Wood character was played by the girl who played Matilda in Matilda, and we only looked that up because we were wondering if she had drowned as a way to confirm or deny that there is some kind of curse associated with that part. There’s not. Yet.
Drinking Game Rules
Drink whenever Natalie Wood’s character says something that’s smug and sounds completely foreign coming from the mouth of a six-year-old.
Drink whenever someone says Santa Claus isn’t real (we’ll give you a free drink right here—he isn’t.)
Finish your drink when someone laughs at the scene where Kris Kringle wails on that one dude with his cane.
The first person to make a Natalie Wood joke has to chug from a bottle of whiskey while sitting in a filled up bathtub.
7: HOME ALONE (1990)
Home Alone is the perfect Christmas movie for the person whose ideal holiday is spent alone in a huge, empty house while you sadistically torture two simpletons. While it spawned three sequels (seven, if you count the three Hostel films), only the first two are worth mentioning, since everyone stopped watching the films once Macaulay Culkin became a grim reminder of all child actor’s eventual emotional downward spiral. It featured Academy Award winner Joe Pesci as a bumbling thief who gets the top of his head burned off while getting covered with feathers. Here’s a tattoo of that.
Ultimately, Kevin learns the lesson that family is important, and that the only thing you need to stop murderous thugs are nail guns and Tonka trucks. It also teaches all American children that they are invincible, and nothing bad will ever happen to them, no matter how many strangers they talk to, just so long as they sometimes raise both their hands to their cheeks while screaming and are precocious.
Drinking Game Rules
Drink every time someone gets injured in a way that would normally send them immediately to the hospital (or kill them).
Any time Macaulay Culkin screams, drink for the duration of the scream.
Take a shot every time you see John Candy.
Drink whenever you see a pizza on screen.
Take a communal shot whenever there’s a reference to having extra-cheese on pizza.
6: RUDOLPH THE RED-NOSED REINDEER (1964)
Everyone loves Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, even DMX. It’s the classic underdog story, like Rudy, if Rudy was played by someone with a horrific genetic mutation that caused parts of his body to glow when he got excited. This was a milestone film in several ways—the longest running Christmas TV special in history, it introduced several new characters into the Christmas canon, it perennially established Rudolph as a member of Santa’s team, and it marks the first time homosexual dentistry was ever aired on network television.
Through Rudolph’s trials and tribulations, the audience learns that our differences are what make us special, that we all are important, and that toys actually are alive and whenever a defective toy is thrown away they’re forced to live on a depressing arctic island with no hope of rescue. Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer also set the precedent that if you’re dealing with giant, murderous monsters, you can defeat them by simply pulling out all their teeth and watching them slowly starve, a practice that most recently was seen in a few episodes of The Walking Dead.
It was also one of the first Christmas films that had no qualms whatsoever about portraying Santa as a huge dick.
Drinking Game Rules
Drink every time Rudolph’s nose glows.
Take a shot of the most disgusting alcohol in your liquor cabinet whenever you have impure thoughts about Rudolph’s love interest, Clarice. You sick fucks.
Whenever a reindeer flies, go outside to smoke a cigarette, and take a drink as soon as you come back inside, just to get your head a nice floating feeling.
Drink every time Santa does or says something dickish, that dick.
Cry uncomfortably during the Island of Misfit Toys song. You don’t have to drink, it’s just a really unnecessarily sad part of the movie.
5: THE NIGHTMARE BEFORE CHRISTMAS (1993)
Before “Chubby kid in a Jack Skelington hoodie” became shorthand for “Goth kid who shops at Hot Topic,” The Nightmare Before Christmas was the perfect “quirky” Christmas film. While the Claymation in Rudolph maxed out with a so-called misfit water pistol (umm, if it shoots jam, can’t you just empty the jam and put water in it instead?) Nightmare took all the ghoulishness of Halloween and put it in a Christmas movie.
At the heart of it was Jack Skellington’s earnest desire to spread his wings and be something more than just the pumpkin king. It had everything the children of Generation X and Generation Y could ask for—a love story, catchy music, and consequence-free dismemberment and kidnappings. There’s also the scene where the Oogie-Boogie man unravels and is shown to just be a cloth sack filled with bugs, which singlehandedly has helped several hundred therapists pay their kids’ way through college.
Drinking Game Rules
Drink whenever someone has a body part fall off.
Take a communal shot every time someone says, “Wait…this was a kids’ movie?”
Drink during each song.
When Santa gets kidnapped, give someone in the group a shot of Everclear, but tell them it’s vodka. This is called the “trick or treat” though it also goes by the name “You might be a date rapist if…”
4: A CHARLIE BROWN CHRISTMAS (1965)
Made on a shoestring budget with a series of technical glitches that are now viewed as an important part of its rustic charm, A Charlie Brown Christmas was the first time the Peanuts comic series was animated for television. Because this is America, it was originally sponsored by Coca-Cola, and they shoved that fact in your face at the end of the special, which is hilarious because the movie’s main message is about how commercialism ruins Christmas.
This TV-movie tells the tale of young Charlie Brown, a child suffering from severe depression who has terrible tastes in Christmas trees. For some reason it’s decided that this makes him the perfect choice to direct the school pageant, which as far as we can tell primarily consisted of playing catchy piano music and dancing while reminding Charlie Brown how much of a piece of shit he is. Also, for some reason there’s a kid who is so perennially filthy that whenever he moves a dust cloud out around him. This child is still considerably more popular than Charlie Brown.
Drinking Game Rules
Whenever there is dancing, mimic the dance while chugging a beer. First person to spill their drink has to take a shot.
Drink whenever someone says, “Good grief.”
Whenever adults talk, fill in the horn noises with swear words, and then take a communal shot.
Whenever commercialism is addressed or alluded to, take a long, refreshing sip of keg can of Heineken. Because a better beer deserves a better can. Heineken. James Bond. Imported. Sponsors of AFFotD since 2012.
3: A CHRISTMAS STORY (1983)
A Christmas Story was the favorite Christmas movie of everyone born in the 1970’s, and it was the most popular holiday film among hipsters until TBS started airing 24-hour marathon showings of it and it became all “mainstream.” This film follows Ralphie Parker, an intrepid American whose only dream in this life is to be a gun owner.
Let’s be honest, you’ve probably never seen this movie all the way through in one sitting. You definitely have seen every scene in the film at some point, probably four or five times, but never uninterrupted from start to finish. That’s just fact. There’s also a lamp made out of a ladies’ (actual!) leg (citation needed), a kid getting his tongue stuck on a flagpole, and Ralphie’s mom seeming to have a really big problem with anyone using the word “fudge” which frankly, is fucking ridiculous, because fudge is fucking delicious as shit.
Drinking Game Rules
Take a shot whenever someone says, “You’ll shoot your eye out.”
Whenever there’s a dream sequence, take a shot of absinthe, or any available drug that might cause hallucinations.
When Ralphie’s brother Randy whines or cries, drink until it stops being annoying, or more likely when the first person pukes.
When Flick (a.k.a. the kid known for getting his tongue stuck on a flagpole) gets his tongue stuck on a flagpole, everyone has to hold an ice cube on their tongue for the entire scene. Afterwards, everyone takes a shot of whiskey.
2: IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE (1946)
If it’s Christmas Eve, and you’re watching a holiday film on TV, you’re probably watching It’s a Wonderful Life. It’s considered the most inspirational film of all time, though in retrospect people think it’s uplifting because it’s a horribly depressing movie that just happens to be happy for the last five minutes (this would later be called “pulling a Pursuit of Happiness”). It’s filled with such wonderful family holiday values as a bankrupt man attempting suicide, a druggist poisoning and killing children, and an entire boat full of people dying because a five year old child drowned in a frozen lake one time.
There are also such touching moments as the time a kindergarten teacher was verbally berated by an inexplicably hotheaded protagonist for giving a small girl a rose, an old befuddled man got robbed of $8,000, and we discovered that angels-in-training have the horrifying ability to wipe your existence from the very face of this Earth. You know all of this, and openly acknowledge it, but you still love the movie because, admit it, the first time you saw it and they started singing “Auld Lang Syne” at the end, you teared up a little. It’s okay, we’re not judging at all, we’ll even let you drink because of it.
Drinking Game Rules
Every time Jimmy Stewart yells someone’s name, take a drink. Take two drinks every time he yells “Mary,” “Clarence,” or “Zuzu.”
Chug a beer whenever someone sings “Buffalo Gals.”
Take half of a shot every time Potter does or says something dickish [Editor’s note: this originally was listed as a full shot, but we were forced to lower the amount when a bunch of people started dying of alcohol poisoning around Christmas].
Every time a bell rings, take a shot and chase it with a Red Bull.
1: DIE HARD (1988)
“What? How is Die Hard a Christmas movie?” our European readers might be asking. Don’t worry, comrades, we’ve traced your IP addresses and you’ll never be able to read about American things you clearly don’t deserve again. Die Hard isn’t just a Christmas movie, it’s the greatest Christmas movie in American history. It’s John McClane! John fucking McClane!
For all intents and purposes, Die Hard is the story of the most badass cop in the history of copdome who saves Christmas by throwing Professor Snape off of a building. He spends a long time doing so without shoes. God, just thinking about this movie makes us want to get drunk and watch it. Yippie-Kai-Yay motherfuckers!
The Drinking Game
Drink whenever John McClane does something awesome (you will be drinking for most of the movie).
First person to point out that the cop is the dad from Family Matters has to take a shot.
Do a sake bomb each time “Nakatomi” is said.
When McClane says “Yippie-Kai-Yay motherfucker” start chugging and don’t stop until the excitement wears off. This likely means you will be forced to chug straight through to the credits.
Whenever someone says, “Why are we watching Die Hard, this isn’t a Christmas movie!” you punch them right in the mouth and make them buy a case of beer for the group.
So this Christmas, gather around with your family, pick one of these classic films, and celebrate the season by getting hammered together. Just don’t try to watch them all at once! Or do. Whatever. We’re not your parents.
Merry Christmas! And happy whatever other holiday you pretend to celebrate when you’re actually celebrating Christmas!